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Richard Leigh, M.D.

Neuro Vascular Brain Imaging Unit

Building 10 Room B1D-733
10 Center Dr MSC 1063
Bethesda MD 20892-1063
Office: 301-435-9321

Fax: 301-480-0413

Dr. Leigh did his undergraduate training at Johns Hopkins University where he majored in Biomedical Engineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering. He then attended medical school at Case Western Reserve University and completed a medical internship and neurology residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical Center where he received the Distinguished Housestaff Award and was named Chief Resident in Neurology. He returned to Johns Hopkins for stroke fellowship and subsequently stayed on as neurology faculty with a secondary appointment in the department of radiology. In 2014, Dr. Leigh was recruited to the NINDS Intramural Stroke Branch as an Assistant Clinical Investigator. Dr. Leigh heads the Neuro Vascular Brain Imaging Unit, which uses MRI to study disease states that occur at the interface between blood vessels and the brain.

The Neuro Vascular Brain Imaging Unit is focused on using MRI to better understand disease states that occur at the interface between blood vessels and the brain. This encompasses acute cerebral ischemia caused by an occluded blood vessel as well as chronic cerebral ischemia that can be associated with dementia. The goal is to understand how MRI can serve as a biomarker for the natural history of cerebrovascular disease such that we may identify targets for therapy upon which to design clinical trials. This is approached in three ways: improve the way we currently use MRI techniques through quantification; identify new types of information that can be extracted from existing techniques; develop new types of MRI acquisition methods.

Our lab has developed a new method for post-processing MRI scans originally obtained for the purpose of blood flow imaging, such that the integrity of the interface between the blood vessels and the brain, commonly referred to as the blood-brain barrier (BBB), can be measured. Unlike other neurologic diseases in which BBB disruption can serve as a target for therapy, the role of BBB disruption in acute and chronic ischemia is very unclear. Blood-Brain Permeability Imaging (BBPI) has given us a new way to study this important pathologic finding and may help guide future therapeutic interventions.

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  • Christian Dias, RN, BSN, CCRP
    Post baccalaureate Student

  • 1) Hitomi E, Simpkins AN, Luby M, Latour LL, Leigh RL, Leigh R (2018)
  • Blood-Ocular Barrier Disruption in Acute Stroke Patients
  • Neurology, 2018 Mar 13, 90(11)
  • 2) Leigh R, Knutsson L, Zhou J, van Zijl PCM (2017)
  • Imaging the Physiological Evolution of the Ischemic Penumbra in Acute Ischemic Stroke
  • J Cereb Blood Flow Metab, 2017 Jan
  • 3) Gupta N, Simpkins AN, Hitomi E, Dias C, Leigh R (2017)
  • White Matter Hyperintensity-Associated Blood-Brain Barrier Disruption and Vascular Risk Factors
  • J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis, 2017 Oct 31
  • 4) Arba F, Leigh R, Inzitari D, Warach SJ, Luby M, Lees KR on behalf of the STIR/VISTA Imaging Collaboration (2017)
  • Blood Brain Barrier Leakage Increases with Small Vessel Disease in Acute Ischemic Stroke
  • Neurology, 2017 Oct 25
  • 5) Simpkins AN, Dias C, Norato G, Kim E, Leigh R (2017)
  • Early Change in Stroke Size Performs Best in Predicting Response to Therapy
  • Cerebrovasc Dis, 2017 Jul 7, 44(3-4):141-149
  • 6) Heo HY, Zhang Y, Burton TM, Jiang S, Zhao Y, van Zijl PCM, Leigh R, Zhou J (2017)
  • Improving the detection sensitivity of pH-weighted amide proton transfer MRI in acute stroke patients using extrapolated semisolid magnetization transfer reference signals
  • Magn Reson Med
  • 7) Alqahtani SA, Leigh R. (2016)
  • Imaging Active Intracerebral Hemorrhage After Attempted Endovascular Thrombectomy
  • JAMA Neurol, 2016 Apr 18
  • 8) Leigh R, Christensen S, Campbell BCV, Marks MP, Albers GW, Lansberg MG for the DEFUSE 2 Investigators (2016)
  • Pretreatment Blood-Brain Barrier Disruption and Post-Endovascular Intracranial Hemorrhage
  • Neurology, 2016 Jul 19, 87(3):263-9
  • 9) Simpkins AN, Dias CC, Leigh R (2016)
  • Identification of Reversible Disruption of the Human Blood-Brain Barrier following Acute Ischemia
  • Stroke, 2016 Jul 26
  • 10) Leigh R, Jen SS, Hillis AE, Krakauer JW, Barker PB (2014)
  • Pretreatment Blood-Brain Barrier Damage and Post-Treatment Intracranial Hemorrhage in Patients Receiving Intravenous Tissue-Type Plasminogen Activator
  • Stroke, Jul;45(7), 2030-5
  • 11) Leigh R, Urrutia VC, Llinas RH, Gottesman RF, Krakauer JW and Hillis AE (2014)
  • A Comparison of Two Methods for MRI Classification of At-Risk Tissue and Core Infarction
  • Front. Neurol , Sep 3;5:155
  • 12) Leigh R, Krakauer JW (2014)
  • MRI-guided selection of patients for treatment of acute ischemic stroke
  • Curr Opin Neurol, Aug;27(4):425-33
  • 13) Qiao Y, Zeiler SR, Mirbagheri S, Leigh R, Urrutia VC, Wityk R, Wasserman BA (2014)
  • Intracranial Plaque Enhancement in Patients with Cerebrovascular Events on High Resolution MRI
  • Radiology, Jan 16:122812
  • 14) Bonekamp D, Barker PB, Leigh R, van Zijl PC, Xu Li (2014)
  • Susceptibility-Based Analysis Of Dynamic Gadolinium Bolus Perfusion MRI
  • Magn Reson Med, Feb 25
  • 15) Leigh R, Oishi K, Hsu J, Lindquist M, Gottesman R, Jarso S, Crainiceanu C, Mori S, Hillis AE (2013)
  • Acute Lesions that Impair Emotional Empathy
  • Brain, Aug;136(Pt 8), 2539-49. PMCID: PMC3722353
  • 16) Bosemani T, Burton VJ, Felling RJ, Leigh R, Oakley C, Poretti A, Huisman TA (2013)
  • Pediatric hemiplegic migraine: Role of multiple MRI techniques in evaluation of reversible hypoperfusion
  • Cephalalgia, Oct 18
  • 17) Leigh R, Jen SS, Varma DD, Hillis AE, Barker PB (2012)
  • Arrival Time Correction for Dynamic Susceptibility Contrast MR Permeability Imaging in Stroke Patients
  • PLoS One, 7(12):e52656. PMCID: PMC3527589
  • 18) Leigh R, Zaidat OO, Suri MF, Lynch G, Sundararajan S, Sunshine JL, Tarr R, Selman W, Landis DM, Suarez JI (2004)
  • Predictors of hyperacute clinical worsening in ischemic stroke patients receiving thrombolytic therapy
  • Stroke, Aug;35(8):1903-7. PMID: 15178819
  • 19) Leigh R, Ostuni J, Pham D, Goldszal A, Lewis BK, Howard T, Richert N, McFarland H, Frank JA (2002)
  • Estimating cerebral atrophy in multiple sclerosis patients from various MR pulse sequences
  • Mult Scler, Oct;8(5):420-9
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